Research around e-cigarettes led by Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary is among the year’s 20 most discussed papers around the world, independent analysis suggests.
The paper, a randomised trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement therapy, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January.
It concluded that e-cigarettes could be much more effective than the ‘gold standard’ nicotine substitute in helping UK smokers quit, doubling the one year abstinence rate.
Welcoming confirmation that his team’s paper is being widely discussed, Professor Hajek, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Health and Lifestyle Research Unit at Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, said: “It’s obviously pleasing to hear that the paper is being analysed and talked about and we hope that means it will influence policy and practice.
“E-cigarettes are a disruptive technology that is generating much controversy. The study may have helped to settle one of these issues. In smokers seeking help, e-cigarettes are more effective and much more cost-effective than nicotine replacement treatments and health professionals should feel confident in recommending that smokers who find quitting difficult try this option.”
Measurement of online research discussion by analysts Altmetric suggests the paper is having an impact. It came in at number 20 on the organisation’s list of the 100 most-discussed research papers over the last 12 months. The analysis collates and gives a weighted score to mentions in mainstream media, policy documents, social networks, blogs and other academic and non-academic forums.
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